Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America, North America

Founded: 1849;
Incorporated: 1866
Location: Eastern Minnesota on the Mississippi River, United States, North America
Time Zone: 6 AM Central Standard Time (CST) = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: White, 81%; Black, 13%; Asian, 4%; Hispanic origin (of any race) 2% (1996)
Elevation: 255 m (838 ft)
Latitude and Longitude: 44°98'N, 93°26'W
Climate: The Twin Cities region has wide fluctuations in temperature, with long, cold, and snowy winters but warm temperatures and low humidity in the summer.
Annual Mean Temperature: 7°C (44.7°F); January-11°C (12.2°F); July 22°C (72°F)
Seasonal Average Snowfall: 117 cm (46 in)
Average Annual Precipitation (rainfall and melted snow): 56 in (142 cm)
Government: Mayor-council
Weights and Measures: Standard U.S.
Monetary Units: Standard U.S.
Telephone Area Codes: 612 (Minneapolis & suburbs), 651 (St. Paul & suburbs)
Postal Codes: 55401–70

2. Getting There

The Twin Cities are located in eastern Minnesota, at the junction of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, near the Wisconsin border. St. Paul is located roughly eight kilometers (five miles) southeast of Minneapolis, which is the seat of Hennepin County. The Twin Cities Metropolitan Statistical Area comprises ten Minnesota counties, as well as one (St. Croix) in Wisconsin.


The Twin Cities region is accessible by I-94, a major east-west route running from coast to coast of the United States, and I-35, bisecting the country north to south from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, I-494 and I-694 offer access to the Twin Cities suburban areas.

Bus and Railroad Service

Amtrak and Greyhound both serve the Twin Cities region. If traveling from the airport, Airport Express is a public shuttle van service, providing transportation to hotels in downtown Minneapolis. Airport Express shuttles depart the airport (in front of luggage pick-up area) approximately every half-hour and stop at all of the downtown hotels; likewise, the shuttles depart major hotels approximately every half-hour.


In 1998–99, over 30 million passengers passed through the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on 491,273 arriving and departing flights. The Airport is located 20 minutes from downtown Minneapolis. The airport, which is served by 13 commercial airlines and is the international headquarters of Northwest Airlines, services a total of over 1,000 arriving and departing flights every day. Direct flights are available to major foreign cities. The Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport is ranked as one of the nation's safest.

Minneapolis Population Profile

City Proper

Population: 358,785
Area: 143 sq km (59 sq mi)
Ethnic composition: 81% white; 13% black; 3.3% American Indian; 4.3% Asian
Nicknames: Twin Cities (with St. Paul), City of Lakes, Land of 10,000 Lakes

Metropolitan Area

Population: 2,792,137
Description: Covers counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin
Area: 15,076 sq km (6,064 sq mi)
World population rank1: 130
Percentage of national population2: 0.9%
Average yearly growth rate: 1.1%
Ethnic composition: 91.2% white; 4.4% black; 3.4% Asian/Pacific Islander


  1. The Minneapolis metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
  2. The percent of the United States' total population living in the Miami metropolitan area.


The Twin Cities are among the nation's major transportation hubs. Some 150 trucking companies serve the region, making it a major trucking center. The Minneapolis-St. Paul ports together handle about ten million metric tons (11 million tons) of cargo annually. Four air cargo carriers and 40 air freight forwarders service the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport; more than 154 metric tons (170 tons) of freight pass through the airport annually.

Bus and Commuter Rail Service

Metropolitan Council Transit Operations (MCTO), the nation's second-largest bus system, operates more than 900 buses every day in the Twin Cities and the surrounding suburbs, carrying over 60 million passengers annually. The Twin Cities are also served by more than 800 taxis.


Visitors might want to launch their sightseeing venture with an overview of the city from the observation deck atop the Foshay Tower and catch a glimpse of the Farmers' Market along the Nicollet Mall. The Minneapolis Planetarium is a popular site, as is Underwater World, a 4.5 million-liter (1.2 million-gallon), walk-through aquarium at the Mall of America. The Minnesota Zoo hosts 450 species of animals featured in their natural habitats. For a thrill, visitors can take a ride on the Wild Thing "hyper coaster" at Valleyfair! Family Amusement Park. For a tamer afternoon, there are an abundance of museums in Minneapolis. While many display fine art and history, several host unique exhibits, from medical quackery to children's interactive games. Gray Line sightseeing tours of the Twin Cities area visit Nicollet Mall and other attractions.

7. Government

Minneapolis, the seat of Hennepin County, is divided into 77 local legislative districts and comprises six U.S. congressional districts. Its government is headed by a mayor and a 13-member city council elected to four-year terms of office.

22. For Further Study


Minneapolis City Net. [Online] Available http://www.city.net/countries/united_states/minnesota/minneapolis (accessed October 14, 1999).

Minneapolis-St. Paul City Guide. [Online] Available http://www.tgimaps.com/marketplace/cityguide (accessed October 14, 1999).

Twin Cities Global Connection. [Online] Available http://www.tcglobal.com/ (accessed October 14, 1999).

Twin Cities Internet Guide & Directory. [Online] Available http://www.tcigd.com/ (accessed October 14, 1999).

Government Offices

City Hall
350 South Fifth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 673-2491

Mayor's Office
350 South Fifth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 673-2100

Minneapolis Planning Department
350 South Fifth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 673-2597

Tourist and Convention Bureaus

Greater Minneapolis Convention
and Visitors Bureau
33 S. 6th St., Multifoods Tower
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 661-4700


Corporate Report Minnesota
105 S. 5th St., Suite 100
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Minneapolis-St. Paul
220 S 6th St., Suite 500
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Minneapolis-St. Paul City Business
527 Arquette Ave., Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Star Tribune
425 Portland Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55488


Adams, John S., and Barbara J. Van Drasek. Minneapolis-St. Paul: People, Place, and Public Life. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.

Arthur, Lindsay G., and Jean Arthur. Twin Cities Uncovered. Plano, TX: Seaside Press, 1996.

Borchert, John R., et al. Legacy of Minneapolis:Preservation Amid Change. Bloomington, MN: Voyageur, 1983.

DeGroot, Barbara, and Jack El-Hai. The Insiders' Guide to the Twin Cities. St. Paul, MN: St. Paul Press, 1995.

Fairbanks, Evelyn. The Days of Rondo. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1990.

Kunz, Virginia Brainard. St. Paul, A Modern Renaissance. Northridge, CA: Windsor Publications, 1986.

Millett, Larry. Twin Cities Then and Now. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1996.

Millett, Larry. Lost Twin Cities. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1992.

Nelson, Rick. Minneapolis/St. Paul. CitySmart Guidebook. Santa Fe, NM: John Muir Publications, 1997.

Nyberg, Joan. A Rustling of Wings: An Angelic Guide to the Twin Cities. St. Paul: Wingtip Press, 1994.

Smith, Robert Tighe. Minneapolis-St. Paul: The Cities, Their People. Helena, MT: American Geographic, 1988.